Campsite & Surroundings

Camping Park Playa Bara,
Passeig Tarragona, Roda de Bera,
Mas de Marti,
Tarragona 43883 ES

GPS:   N41º10’12.5″ E1º28’10.1″ / 41.170124, 1.469465

Camping Playa Bara feels more like a 5-star hotel resort than a campsite as it is maintained to a very high standard. It is beautifully landscaped and designed with an ancient Roman theme in mind (in honour of nearby Tarragona).

I had read that it used to be a botanical garden and you certainly feel that with the many palm trees and other plants and trees everywhere. There are little stone seats as part of the walls, Roman-style statues and beautiful roman style buildings and attractive steps. It is beautifully laid out with tree-lined avenues.

A road runs down from the reception at the top of the site to the shops near the bottom. On the right is a flat area given over mostly to camper vans and tourers. Some short term but there are also many long term pitches (these are not as bad as some sites though, and they are not permanent structures which can look untidy). The area on the left of the road is a lot hillier with a mixture of wooden bungalows, static caravans, tents and a few tourers.

This area has some Canvas tents, Eurocamp, Camping Selection and the Siesta mobile vans.

Pitches

After booking in at the main reception, you can drive down to the parking near the bottom of the site to get out and choose your pitch. There are tags attached to the water taps that are on all the pitches with the date it is next booked out so as long as you leave before that date, you can use the space.

As I mentioned, you get a water tap although you cannot drink the water from this. However, there are drinking water points dotted around the site.

The pitches are a good size with a hard surface.

A bonus for us on this campsite is that they offer a seniors rate of 13.95 euros a night.

The Beach

Just 75 yards from the bottom gate is the beach. There are a few bars and restaurants which are all excellent value for money. We enjoyed a lovely salad at La Torre one day and paella another.

There is a lovely long wide promenade ideal for walking and cycling with an equally long wide beach with beautiful golden sand. Quite safe for swimming too as the sea is relatively shallow for some distance.

Kayaks, paddle boards and pedalos are available in the high season. Also trampolines and an evening market on the promenade.

Swimming Pool

The pool area is spacious and nicely designed on multiple levels which makes it interesting.

There are 2 main pools linked by a slide and 2 smaller pools one with 3 small water slides and one just for toddlers. The large pool is salt water and is heated.

The swim up bar is nice where you can get cocktails and ice creams (although not open while we are here).

Above the pool are a separate sun terrace and a snack bar with a small arcade housing some computer games, air hockey and pool.

There are organised pool games in the afternoons to keep the kids entertained.

No inflatables are allowed in the pool and no diving or jumping in. The lifeguards are very hot on enforcing this rule too.

There are plenty of sunbeds around the pool but if its particularly busy there is plenty of grass where you can lay and plenty of shade under the palm trees.

Spa & Gym

The Spa has a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, hot and cold pools and a French masseuse.
There is an indoor gym.

Entertainment

There is a very impressive purpose built Roman Amphitheatre built on the site with a couple of bars.

There is something on every night ranging from bingo to live bands to acrobats.

In the summer months, you can expect to see flamenco dancing/ horse shows, tribute acts like Robbie Williams and Olly Murs, and the animation team put on some excellent shows like Mama Mia, Grease, The Lion King and Aladin.

The mini disco starts at 6.30pm then the leading entertainment starts at 10pm which is a little too late for us we would prefer an earlier start.

The kid’s entertainment is excellent, and the staff running the kids club can switch between Spanish and English very well.

There is an underground disco which is not just for the teenagers and stays open until 3-4am.

There are Tennis Courts, Football fields, Basketball, Table Tennis, Crazy Golf a play park for the little ones and an Avery, rabbits and a tortoise.

You can hire bikes from the site.

Restaurants

There are a few restaurants outside the front of the campsite including Oki Wok a Chinese Buffet Restaurant which is very good value at 10.40 euros for lunch and 15.40 for dinner. They have a large selection of fresh meats and fish that you can take to the counter for them to cook.

There is a nice restaurant/bar on the terrace under the palm trees on the way out of the site to the beach which seemed very popular with the locals too.

We can recommend the beach restaurant where we had lunch a couple of times.

Takeaway kiosk

There is a great little takeaway kiosk near the shop which sells burgers, hot dogs, fries, paellas, pizza, salads, lasagna, spit roast chickens, and takeaway tubs of sangria.

Wi-fi

We found the wi-fi patchy and although we got 2 hours of free access every 8 hours it wasn’t good enough to watch videos on Facebook or stream Netflix.

There is also a car/dog wash and two cash machines on site.

Supermarket

The supermarket is reasonably well stocked with a bit more than the essentials, and we have found all we needed here for our stay. Delicious fresh bread and croissants are available as well as a great meat counter which makes a good selection of marinated meats, ideal for the bbq.

The staff are accommodating and will help you pack, and If your shopping is heavy, they offer to deliver it to your van in their dedicated golf buggy.

Mercadona, Aldi and Lidl are just a few minutes drive away where you would get more choice and slightly better value for money.

Gift/Hardware Shop

Great shop for gifts, postcards, beach chairs, parasols, beachwear and so much more.

Toilets/showers

Clean, hot showers and toilets. Hooks and little seats in each shower.

Lovely garden display in the middle of the block.

Laundry

There are about 8 big load washing machines housed in its own lovely building with a coffee vending machine, bookcase of books and magazines and a bench.

Security

The site does have a few rules that they are strict on. No inflatables in the pool, no diving or jumping in. No cycling around the campsite after dark.

The entertainment in the Amphitheatre stops although the underground disco continues into the early hours. Security patrol the area throughout the night,

No same-sex group bookings are allowed, and the site has a strict noise policy after midnight which isn’t a bad thing.

Bad Points

Depending on where you are on the site you may experience a little road noise and at the bottom of the campsite near the beach is a railway line.

At the weekends it’s bustling and noisy with all the Spanish families that live nearby, and have semi-permanent pitches.

We were lucky as we pitched near the beach end, but if you are near the Amphitheatre, the entertainment can be quite loud until midnight. Then from midnight until around 4 am, you may hear the base from the underground disco.

Walking & Cycling

When you walk out of the back gate and turn right, you reach a lovely wide and long promenade which seems to go on quite a distance. If you walk straight ahead instead, you come to a small paved coastal path which veers to the left. It’s a scenic walk which leads to the nearby fishing village of Roc de Sant Gaieta which we loved. I have written a separate piece with many photos of this beautiful village with its shady courtyards and great views out to the sea.

Nearby

Bus stop

Outside the front of the campsite and across the road is a bus stop into Tarragona which is just 28 km away. You can pick up a bus timetable from reception, although there is also one at the bus stop. Beware the last bus back to the site from Tarragona is 7.15pm.

You can also pick up a bus to Sant Vincente de Calders train station to get the train into Barcelona. The train takes approx. 1 hour 20. Or if you have a car, it takes 1 hour.

Montserrat Monastery

Although slightly further afield but well worth a visit is Monserrat.

This is a fantastic place. You can get a funicular train to the top of the mountain which has fabulous views. From here you can visit the church, do a mountain walk, go higher on another funicular or try the cable car.

Port Aventura World

Port Aventura is half an hour away and is a Universal studio’s theme park on the Costa Daurada, the only one operated by the group in Europe. It is made up of the Universal Studios Port Aventura theme park, the Costa Caribe water park the Hotel El Paso, the Hotel Port Aventura, a Beach Club and the Ferrari Land Park.

A few more photos of the camp site.